By Mike U. Crismundo
BUTUAN CITY – In full support of the establishment of accredited Agri-Fishery Machinery Testing and Evaluation Center (AFMTEC) in Caraga Region, the Department of Agriculture – Caraga turned over 18 units of testing equipment and training tools to Caraga State University (CSU) Main Campus, held at CSU Organic Agriculture Conference Hall on Thursday (July 30).
The equipment given by the DA includes top-loading balance, datalogger, standard sieve set, thermocouple and extension wire, hygrometer, tachometer, digital moisture meter, and AC current clamp meter.
Top regional officials of the DA 13 led by Regional Executive Director (RED) Abel James I. Monteagudo personally handed over the testing equipment and training tools to CSU officials.
The equipment and training tools amounting to P493,000.00 was funded under the agency’s Rice Program (RP) will serve as a start-up for the center, benefiting the new breed of agriculture students, agricultural engineers, and most especially the local farmers in the region.
“This equipment donated by the DA-13 would be of great help in the delivery of high quality agriculture and agriculture engineering education of CSU and the region as a whole,” CSU President Dr. Anthony M. Penaso said, adding “This will provide the students the opportunity to be equipped with the necessary skills in machinery operations because these will be available here on campus”.
The increasing demand of agricultural equipment in universities offering agricultural courses pushed CSU through the College of Engineering and Geosciences to create a partnership with DA-Caraga and Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) – Regional Training Center (RTC) 13, to address the needs and concerns affecting the skills and competencies of the students in agriculture and also the local farmers.
“We are developing this initiative not just for the sake of teaching new techniques and ways in machinery to our students and farmers but it is in our direct service for our local farmers as trainers for the development of our agricultural sector in the region,” CSU VPRIE Dr. Rowena P. Varela also said
The training center will be the second center in Mindanao delivering high caliber training in agriculture concerning mechanization and laboratory practices.
In his message during the brief turn-over ceremony, RED Monteagudo also stressed that the agency, as the center for agricultural development in the region, always support the initiative presented by different partners like CSU, for the betterment of the agriculture sector in the region.
“Through this, it will awaken the perception of people about agriculture. That agriculture is vital in nation-building. I am hoping that many people will see this sector as important as others,” stressed the region’s top DA 13 official.
Also present during the ceremony of the said testing equipment and training tools were ATI RTC 13 Center Director Samuel Calonzo, VPRIE of CSU Dr. Rowena Varela and Dean CSU CEGS Engr. Meriam Santillan.